First monkeypox case in N.H. identified

  • examples of monkeypox rashes CDC—Courtesy

Monitor staff
Published: 6/29/2022 4:13:50 PM

A person in Rockingham County has been identified as the first probable case of monkeypox in New Hampshire.

“While this is a concerning development, the risk to the general public is very low,” said Dr. Jonathan Ballard, chief medical officer of Department of Health and Human Services. “We are investigating this situation to determine whether additional people may have been exposed.”

No additional information has been released about how the patient may have become infected.

The CDC has identified 224 monkeypox cases in 26 states as of June 27.

Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by the monkeypox virus, which belongs to the same group of viruses as smallpox. Transmission of monkeypox requires close interaction with a symptomatic person. Brief interactions do not appear to be high risk; transmission has usually involved close physical or intimate contact or healthcare examinations conducted not using appropriate protective equipment.

The New Hampshire Public Health Laboratories conducted the initial testing that identified this probable case of monkeypox. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is conducting confirmatory testing.

Initial symptoms typically include fever, headache, exhaustion, muscle aches, sore throat, cough, and swollen lymph nodes. A few days after the start of these symptoms, a skin rash or skin spots appear that change over time. People with monkeypox are contagious until all skin lesions have scabbed over and fallen off the skin.

The illness usually lasts for 2-4 weeks. Symptoms are usually mild, but in rare cases a more severe illness can occur that might require hospitalization.

Any person with a new skin rash or skin lesions concerning for monkeypox, especially if accompanied by other monkeypox symptoms, should talk to their healthcare provider.

Testing should be considered if the skin rash and other symptoms occurred within a few weeks after traveling to another country where monkeypox is being reported or after close contact to a person who has a similar skin rash, or who may have monkeypox.

For more information on monkeypox, visit the DHHSMonkeypoxwebpage.

David Brooks bio photo

David Brooks is a reporter and the writer of the sci/tech column Granite Geek and blog, as well as moderator of Science Cafe Concord events. After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in mathematics he became a newspaperman, working in Virginia and Tennessee before spending 28 years at the Nashua Telegraph . He joined the Monitor in 2015.

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